- Series: Pantheon Graphic Library
- Paperback: 136 pages
- Publisher: Pantheon; Reprint edition (September 24, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375714529
- ISBN-13: 978-0375714528
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 40 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #885,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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David Boring (Pantheon Graphic Library) Paperback – September 24, 2002
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"It's impossible to write about Daniel Clowes's work without using the word "ennui." But his is a joyous ennui, if such a thing is possible, one that relishes the boredom of everyday life with a Zen enthusiasm. . . Clowes finds little miracles everywhere he looks—so many, in fact, that they seem hardly to interest him. This detachment perversely makes David Boring deeply compelling and worthy of serious attention from fans and newcomers alike."
"[A] serious and innovative work, and it's never boring."
From the Inside Flap
Meet David Boring: a nineteen-year-old security guard with a tortured innner life and an obsessive nature. When he meets the girl of his dreams, things begin to go awry: what seems too good to be true apparently is. And what seems truest in Boring's life is that, given the right set of circumstances (in this case, an orgiastic cascade of vengeance, humiliation and murder) the primal nature of humandkind will come inexorably to the fore.
"Boring finds love with a mysterious woman named Wanda, loses her and sort of finds her again. He also gets shot in the head (twice) and stranded on an island with his brutish family. Meanwhile, the world may or may not be ending soon. And did I mention that much of this is hilariously funny?" -- "Time
"From the Hardcover edition.
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There's no plot to speak of, and what storyline there is is one that seems a parody of hardboiled detective stories. Panels abruptly break into different narrative threads. Interpolations that make no sense whatsoever interject themselves. The "Yellow Streak" comic/missing father subtheme is baffling. There are tons of nonsequitors: Wanda's disappearance in a sexual/religious cult; Manfred's running off with David's mother; Mrs. Capin's seduction of David; the affair with Naomi; the abrupt termination of Dot's lesbian affair; and the never-developed hints at apocalyptic disaster. Temporal sequence seems unimportant, chance encounters carry mysterious weight, characters appear and vanish with magical realism fluidity. Sometimes it's intriguing, sometimes perplexing, sometimes quite tiresome. And the woodenness of the drawing--again deliberate, one suspects--only adds to the surreality of the story. Facial expressions seem frozen, bodies pre-pubescent. Even in the love-making scenes, the characters look like store front mannikins. (And what's up with all the socks? Can Clowes not draw feet?)
Is there a point here? The absurdity of existence? The deep and futile human longing for love? creative expression (David is a failed screenwriter)? deep meaning? Is David a kind of Camusean l'etranger, unable to connect with anyone on a deep emotional level? Or in fact is there no message at all to "David Boring"? Is the negative reviewer who said that the book seemed to have been dreamt up panel by panel as Daniel Clowes proceeded on the money? I don't want to think this is how the book was actually written, but ultimately it's so artificially mysterious that it might as well have been.
* Clowes' own description of his novel.
The writing is clever, and moves in directions that I didn't expect after reading "Ghost World". Act two reminded me of Agatha Christie's "Twelve Little Indians".